BL Babes : 1980s and beyond

New cars, the product-led recovery, and eventually a long, lingering death. You’d never have believed it looking at these pictures…


Rover’s Press department and their play on that poster from the early 1980s, unashamedly used for the Advantage special edition Mini… ‘Prendergast Sweedlepipe recalls: ‘Mini Advantage – ah no, not Marketing as originally stated. That shot was done purely for press release use, commissioned by a guy called Bill Zygmant, who was put in charge of press photography during the very strange era when Jean Denton (later Baroness Denton) was in charge of Austin Rover PR. Jean (RIP) used to have difficulty in observing the lines drawn between PR and Promotions/Marketing/Advertising, and often trod on other folks’ toes.’

Celebrating a silver anniversary in style… A matching bikini would have been nice.

Austin Maestro

But what exactly is it we’re supposed to get up to in a Maestro, and do you think she’d really want to?

Austin Metro

This dealer special edition is simply horrible on every level… the girl doesn’t look that impressed either

MG ZR and ZS

There’s clearly a lot of talent here – Atomic Kitten clearly felt happy to endorse the pert MG ZR and ZS Atomix editions…


Sophie Ellis-Bextor and the TF which she unveiled to the press – keep smiling for the camera

Keith Adams


    • I think it might be a higher specification Mayfair variant. However, I can confirm that the two-tone paint options were introduced in spring 1987. It was a well-equipped model, offering plenty of panache and it certainly created a favourable impression.

  1. Anyone remember a company called Swithland Motors and their adverts featuring rather well endowed young ladies in tight T shirts washing cars? Totally un PC and guaranteed to infuriate hardline feminists, but so of their time.

    • Good point Glenn… despite being un-PC by today’s standards, (low as they now are with social media), the 70s & 80s car adverts were from a simpler time and that’s how it was, like it or not …

      I don’t remember Swithland Motors but your description conjours up a picture!

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